string bass ---> electric bass

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by ConTraBajisTa, Jan 20, 2002.

  1. ConTraBajisTa

    ConTraBajisTa Guest

    Oct 5, 2000
    auburn, ny
    i started playing string bass at the end of 6th grade (about 3½ years ago) and about a year and a half ago my dad bought me a bass guitar and i began that.
    my question is, how many people have gone from string bass to electric bass? and if so, was there any difficulty you had in doing it? (i feel like i'm writing an essay question, LoL)

    when i began electric bass, no one told me NOT to play ON the frets (as opposed to in between them), and since on upright you'd play where the positions are marked (if they're marked), thats what i thought the frets were. also, i always need something to rest my thumb on, but how do most bass players play? resting thumbs on the pick ups (which almost ruined mine, they got jammed way too far in), or like me, did you get a thumb rest put in, or do you even need one at all? and also, i play mostly classical music on upright bass, and i only know scales, and i don't know much about modes and all that technical stuff at all. i just figured i'd gain knowledge with experience. are modes and most of that technical stuff THAT important that i NEED to learn them? or would you just say learn with experience?

    browsing through threads and things kinda got me to thinking how much i actually know about my bass guitar and how i'll ever progress with it. any input would be awesome. thanks.
  2. What is " string bass " ??

    is that sort of like.. contrabass ? you American folks call it " upright " if i remember correctly
  3. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    They're two different instruments, for all intents and purposes, so you should treat them as such. Finger slightly behind the frets, rather than on them. Resting your thumb on the strings rather than the pickups will cure your problem. If possible, try to pick up some classical guitar technique for the right hand, as this is the nearest "orthodox" technique that is transferable to the bass guitar.

    String bass is yet another name for contrabass, double bass, upright bass, bass violin, bass viol, etc.
  4. I don't like the term "string bass" as much as its synonyms. SOunds too :"home made".

    And dude - why don't you just get a big amp and an electric double bass?

    As for modes etc, I'd say it depends what you wanna do .. and you'll be able to guage that as you progress.
  5. ConTraBajisTa

    ConTraBajisTa Guest

    Oct 5, 2000
    auburn, ny
    dude! no... chic! (for the record). i don't like the term "double bass" becuz there isnt double of anything (i know where the name came from, it just reminds me of two basses stuck together or something).

    how hard rock would it look in a band if i played a string bass? and i couldn't jump around! (even with an electric double bass)
  6. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Names don't really matter.
    String bass is used more in a classical context IIRC.

    BTW: There's nothing wrong in fingering directly on the frets, as long it doesn't buzz. It's practically the same as fretting right behind the fret, with today's jumbo frets you'll hardly notice any difference.

    Jaco said in his video that he fingers like that to be able to switch to fretless more easily. BTW he also said that he practised on fretted almost exclusively because practising on fretless would wear out the fretboard to much - imagine that! :eek:
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    it's called 'string bass' because in wind ensemble the bass is a tuba (also called, though I don't know why, a recording bass).
  8. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I practice with rounds on a fretless. They don't tear up the fingerboard, but the top layer of epoxy has been torn off.
  9. i'VE seen people acting crazy with double basses in rock / punk bands ... they can look heaps rock - its all in the attitude (and the stickers) ..
  10. You waNNA look REALLY hard rock? get an electric double bass, put a electric guitar strap on it and sling it low, and you can jump around like a crazy lady! its what i;d do if i could play contrabass >:D
  11. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    about modes:

    if you know your major scale, you practically know your modes.

    the modes are based off of the scale (or is the major scale based off of the modes?)

    Practice this:

    play the C Major scale.

    now play the C Major scale starting on D up to the next D.

    you played the first two modes (C Ionian-equivalent to the major scale-and D Dorian)

    the rest can be played the same way (E Phrygian, F Lydian, G Mixolydian, A Aeolian, and finally B Locrian).

    don't be intimidated by the names; they are either just the major or minor scale with a notes sharped or flatted (two at the most).

    modes aren't necessarily essential, but I personally find them useful. Many rock bands do, too (mixolydian is used a lot).
  12. frankencow150

    frankencow150 Guest

    Oct 17, 2001
    Hey contra,guess what...the band Living End does that!There a punk band,and their bassist uses a "doublebass" or "upright",or whatever you want to call it.

    Consider your fact of the day.
  13. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Locrian is b2, b3, b5, b6 and b7
  14. Brad Barker

    Brad Barker Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2001
    berkeley, ca
    well, i meant in relation to either the major or minor scale, not just the major scale. i guess i'll have to do this to make it clear...

    so here it goes:


    dorian-minor, major 6th

    phrygian- minor, flat second ("minor second" if you will)

    lydian-major, sharp 4th (augmented 4th?)

    mixolydian-major, flat 7th (minor 7th)


    locrian-minor, flat 2nd and flat 5th

    by the way, the minor scale is b3, b6, and b7 in relation to the major scale. that should clarify pacman's response if there was any confusion.

    sorry i had to type all of this just to make myself clear.

    i think we should stop with this mode talk because a lot more remains to be said and if we discuss it more, we may run the risk of having this moved to general instruction.

    perhaps these last few posts could be removed from this thread and moved there, thereby creating a new thread dedicated to modes.

    this thread's original meaning and goal should remain in tact.

    just a suggestion.
  15. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    So do I - I just told what I remember from that video.
  16. yawnsie


    Apr 11, 2000
    Though there's nothing wrong at all with what bassbrobrad said, Wheat's bassbook has a very good section on modes, amongst other things.
  17. CrawlingEye

    CrawlingEye Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Easton, Pennsylvania

    I don't think a band should need to jump around to be good. If you go to a show/concert, you don't go to see an act, you go to hear music.

    Secondly, I've seen quite a few bands that play with stand up basses.

    ie: Mepheskapheles (sp?)
    ie: any rockabilly band you could ever imagine

    If you're used to playing an upright, but get annoyed by frets, use a fretless.

    If you have a lot of cash to burn, I suggest a Rob Allen MB-2. It has an upright vibe, but extremely growly, and modern tone. :)

    If you'd rather stick with the fretted, the best place to supress the frets is directly behind the marker, so you don't get string buzz.

    If you hold down directly on top of the frets, I wouldn't see where the problem would arise, it'd just be more accurate, and most likely more difficult.

    It's up to you, really. :)